My words

It’s Tuesday 9th August 2011 and the UK is in its fourth night of riots. I have honestly never felt more scared or sad about the events unfolding in this country. More so, my London is being attacked by thugs and like-minded youths. I have written before about my love for London. And now I am watching it burn and be vandalised in horrific ways.

I have a few things to say about this. First, I’m removed from everything by living in the sticks. This is no bad thing and gives a strong sense of safety. But I’m scared for all the people I love and cherish who live near those areas affected. Additionally though this means I’m left feeling seriously helpless. As I’m on jury service I’m also travelling away from the affected areas. So I have no way of actually being part of any help.

Second, I am heartened immensely to read on Twitter tonight that Sikhs around the UK have been rallying together and protecting their gurdwaras and in some instances the community. On Sky channel 847 Sangat TV have had a roving reporter with a live TV feed of action in Birmingham.

Third, I have been thinking about being there and helping my fellow Sikhs to protect the gurdwaras. And this is where I come unstuck. I am not a well built guy, very slim in fact. I don’t know how to fight. And I don’t condone violence in any way. My brother-in-law visited this evening and he is rather hot-headed and he wanted to go to our local gurdwara. I would not have let him go alone. But I do not want to fight. Because I don’t know how to.

One of my good friends is serving in the army and has been out to Iraq and Afghanistan. He knows what fear is, what aggression is and what violence is. He also knows what defence actually is. I respect this. But I have none of that to fall on. The worst scuffle I’ve had is games of bulldog at school.

Which is why I decided to go into psychology. And from there to a career in L&D. Because I can help people develop and improve their lives. But this is a very small thing I do. I have a life I lead through Twitter and see I can help spread messages to an audience. So my written word has become my chosen weapon of choice.

It’s what I can do. The police officers who went to arrest Mark Duggan seem to have made an error which has had unforeseen circumstances. The government has not acted strongly enough or given assurances which give peace of mind or sense of security. Yet through it all, the public service being carried out by the police forces, and emergency services are all remarkable. I wish them nothing but good luck in their endeavours against these trouble makers.

My words, then, are I hope of use. I hope the fever that these rioters seem to have picked up goes quickly and our country can go back to being the wonderful place I enjoy it to be. To those who read this, I wish you all well. To those who can help, I hope you can. To those who get arrested for the troubles you have caused, I hope you receive swift and severe punishments. To my family, I love you.


Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

12 thoughts on “My words”

  1. I felt the same sadness reading this as the email I received from my friend, and which I published on my blog this morning. I am currently in the USA for a month. I am trying to reconcile how this riot is ostensibly about human rights protection to these horrific violations. There is a disconnect there for me. Your words are poignant and resonate.

  2. The Sikhs are setting an excellent example – demonstrating care for the community and the need to protect and support when confronted with destruction and violence. You are doing your bit to try to restore peace in London (and the UK) by speaking out in a calm and measured manner. Your words give strength to others – thank you!

  3. …..and remember Sukh that the people who are being violent are in the minority. Most people wake up each day not planning to do harm to others.
    Keep up the writing and talking out about the good things people are doing every day because the media seem to want only to report what they deem to be newsworthy – and those are the things that are different from the norm and stand out.
    Yesterday I was struck by how much of twitter was constructive and focused on continuing to keep Britain functioning as well as a 21st century country can with all the complications of modern day living. When I watched the TV news on in the evening it felt like a different story. And then I checked twitter again and there was the #operationcupoftea trending and my faith was somewhat restored.

  4. Sukh- a heart warming read & I feel for you, Londoners and the other cities being attacked.

    Down here in Devon are far removed from the events of our countries big cities. It is indeed a scary thought and my concern now is the system we have in place that has driven these children (let’s be clear here they are children) to take such action.

    The silver lining is the work of faith communities in the UK that have come out to help and to support the innocent.

    As a Christian community in Devon we have been praying for the resolution of these events and it is great to see cross-faith support.

    The only good that can come from this last week is if the UK and its faith communities can bring about change in hearts, bring good value back to these broken people who are destroying their home cities.

    Hopefully we will see a change in the winds from the celebrity culture of ‘I want now.’

    Thoughts and prayers with you and all London.

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